The best countries to work for your wellbeing revealed

Ever had the urge to quit your job, pack up your bags and move to another country? Before choosing where your new destination is going to be, you might want to consider picking one where you’ll be happiest at work by weighing up the wellbeing benefits each country has to offer. New research conducted by Phoenix Health & Safety has revealed which countries are the best places to work for your wellbeing by looking at eight ranking factors including:

GDP per capitaHoliday allowanceAverage working weekAverage unemployment rateStatutory maternity leaveLegal retirement age% of the population with internetCost of living index by country

Top 20 best places to work for your wellbeing

Image:  Phoenix Health & Safety

Whether you are looking to relocate, or become a digital nomad for the season, it might be time to start brushing up on your Danish. Denmark was revealed to be the country with the best workplace wellbeing overall, with one of the lowest unemployment rates globally, at just 2.4%, an average work week of 34 hours, and a minimum of 18 weeks of paid maternity leave for employees.

Although it turns out the UK is still a pretty good place to work for wellbeing as it comes in at seventh place. With a 28 day holiday allowance, a minimum of 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, and an average working week of 33 hours, employees in the UK enjoy some of the highest workplace wellbeing levels in Europe.

To help workers and employers manage wellbeing expectations across the globe, Nick Higginson, CEO of Phoenix Health & Safety looks at each data point and shares hisinsight and advice on how to achieve a happy, healthy and safe working environment.

Factors influencing our wellbeing at work

1. How much we get paid

Luxembourg leads the way with the highest GDP globally, at $107,792, followed by Ireland ($88,976) and Switzerland ($87,340). GDP per capita is a useful tool for comparing the living standards globally, however, it doesn’t take into account important factors such as income equality, social welfare or environmental quality.

Nick says: “In countries with higher GDP per capita, there tend to be more job opportunities, higher wages, and greater investment opportunities, meaning that employees in those countries are less burdened with financial worries that could lead to poor wellbeing.”

2. Taking time off

Iran offers employees the most public holidays of all the countries analysed, with a total of 53 public holidays combined with paid annual leave observed each year. Following Iran are Andorra, Cambodia and Burkina Faso, which each offer an allowance of 45 holidays, and Bahrain with 44 holidays observed.

Nick says:Taking regular time off means employees will come back rested, focused and relaxed meaning they will be more productive when they return back to work.More holidays also mean that workers are less likely to take sick days due to stress caused by burnout.”

3. Working a balanced number of hours

With the four-day week continuing to be a talking point in the UK, it seems many countries have successfully transitioned to a shorter working week. The Netherlands has the shortest working week, where employees work an average of 30 hours each week (the same as in Iran), while in the UK that number is only slightly higher at 33 hours per week.

“Although national working time regulations differ quite a bit across the world, they are designed to protect workers’ rights, promote work-life balance, and ensure health, safety, and wellbeing” adds Nick.

4. Employment stability

The study reveals that while Qatar claims the lowest unemployment rate globally, with 0.1% of the population out of work, it’s Nigeria that has the largest number of unemployed people, with a third of the population out of work.

Nick adds: “If people work in countries with high unemployment levels, they might be worried about their own job security, such as the likelihood of being made redundant. This uncertainty could lead to feeling anxious at work, creating a negative effect on overall wellbeing.”

5. Looking after new parents

In New Zealand, new mothers are offered a minimum of 26 weeks of statutory paid maternity leave to spend with their new child, the highest statutory maternity leave package within the analysis. Hungary is not far behind with a minimum of 24 weeks of maternity leave available, followed by Italy with 20 weeks of paid leave.

Countries like the United States, Lithuania and Latvia currently have no statutory maternity leave allowances available to their employees,which could make them consider alternative options when having a baby, depending on their employer.

Nick says: “Paid maternity leave beyond any statutory benefits offered by the government can influence an employed parent’s overall wellbeing and work relationship. Not only does the offer of paid time off to bond and care for a new child give employees job security, but it also promotes diversity and staff retention.”

6. A happy retirement age

China, Mongolia and Uzbekistan have the youngest average retirement age, with the majority of employees giving up work at the age of 57.5. In contrast, many African and South American countries require employees to continue working up to an average retirement age of 70 years old.

Nick says: “For employees whose wellbeing is not being considered by the employer, the prospect of working well into old age might be something that causes additional stress. Managers should be clear with retirement protocol including how long they are expected to work and how to access pensions.

“While older employees bring experience and loyalty to a business, their physical and mental health requirements will be different to younger employees and workplace wellbeing programs will need to adapt to those specific needs.”

7. Access to the internet

The Middle East has the largest percentage of the population with access to the internet, with 100% of people in countries like Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE connected in some way. Europe also has a large percentage of its population online, with 99% of people in countries such as Denmark, Luxembourg and Norway connected to the internet. The UK has 95% of the population with access to the internet, the same as Oman and Brunei.

Nick adds: “Most office jobs require the internet to communicate, research and learn, plan routes and connect with colleagues. If job seekers have no, or limited, internet access there are likely to be fewer jobs they can apply for, which could impact their wellbeing.”

8. A manageable cost of living

While the cost of living continues to rise in many parts of the world, the knock-on effects can be seen outside household budgets. As costs rise, employees may find it more difficult to make ends meet, which can cause significant financial stress which in turn can spill over into the workplace, causing decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and lower overall job satisfaction.

Nick concludes: “Employers may need to offer higher wages and better benefits to help employees keep up with the cost of living. If they don’t, employees may feel that their wages are inadequate and may become disengaged from their work. Additionally, if a benefits package is not competitive – both financially and from a health and wellbeing perspective, employees may be more likely to seek employment elsewhere.” 

For help assessing your business’ workplace wellbeing, take a look at the range of Health and Safety courses available through Phoenix Health & Safety. 

The post The best countries to work for your wellbeing revealed appeared first on HR News.

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